Desert Magick: Expectation vs Reality

Hi and welcome fellow Witches, Witchlings, and Witchlets! Today’s installment in our Expectation vs Reality Series centers around desert magick. First we’ll go over what it entails and then dive into the nitty gritty misconceptions and truths. Let’s get started!


desert magick

It’s best to think of desert magick as aligned with folk magick – localized and conditioned upon the environment where the practitioner lived. Each and every item needed for spellwork and other magickal endeavors could be harvested from their natural surroundings. As such, practitioners who dwelled in the desert practiced desert magick.

For example, a desert mystic could draw a sigil in sand and allow the wind to activate it as it blows the grains away. Gazing up at the skies unpolluted by manmade light can offer a desert witch clear access to constellations which can then be added to their work. The abundant Sun is yet another component often found in desert magick. Local flora and fauna also play a role.


  1. Expectation: You have to live in a desert to practice desert magick
    Reality: You don’t have to reside in the desert
desert magick

This one is a pretty obvious misconception. As a comparison, this is like saying that a crystal witch can only be one if they live in a cave made up of stalactites and stalagmites. Pretty silly, huh?

While desert magick originates from a time when practitioners who dwelled in the desert made use of what was available to them, this doesn’t make it closed off to those who live elsewhere. It’s certainly easy in this day in age to order well, anything off of the Internet. This includes sand, dirt, cacti, chapparal, quartz, etc. to use in desert magick.

  1. Expectation: You cannot use water in desert magick
    Reality: Even in the desert it rains
desert magick

The thinking behind this expectation is a fair one, but false. A misconception about the desert in general is that is doesn’t rain. While not comparable to the average rainfall in other biomes, it still gets about 10 inches of rain per year. In fact, if you are able to procure desert rain water, it is VERY powerful to use in spellwork.

As desert rain water is rare, a wonderful alternative to use in its place is cactus water. Readily available, water from the prickly pear cactus can represent desert rain water and rain water in general. The metaphysical correspondences of rain water include protection and purification.

  1. Expectation: Only baneful spellwork comes from desert magick
    Reality: You aren’t limited to one type of spellwork
desert magick

It’s easy to think of being pricked by spines when thinking of a cactus. And cacti naturally come to mind when thinking of the desert. Other notions of the desert include heat, harsh conditions, and death. So I can see the natural correlation of this expectation: desert magick = baneful magick.

While using cacti spines in hexwork and sand in malicious spell jars is a thing, desert magick can be used for all kinds of applications. Here are some examples:

-It’s common practice to use aloe vera to soothe sunburns. In magick, it can be used to soothe strenuous transitions and bring peace.

-Desert blooming flowers, such as the Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa), Desert Dandelion (Malacothrix glabrata), and Golden Suncup (Oenothera brevipes, Camissonia brevipes) can be used in love work.

-Using prickly pear cacti for magickal pursuits of strength, endurance, and longevity is common practice as they themselves are drought-tolerant and hold these properties themselves.

-If it’s beauty and/or positive thinking you’re after, utilizing the flowers and seed pods of the palo verde tree in your spellwork will do you well.

-Amplifying your efforts through the use of quartz is yet another desert magick resource that can be applied to your practice.


Well, there you have it. Another day, another post in our Expectation vs Reality Series. I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment and perhaps even piqued your curiosity about desert magick. And as always, Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!

Published by Pie

Pie Ankiewicz is the Resident Witch of Printable Witchcraft and sister-site Candle Cross Coven. She is a seasoned Eclectic Witch whose practice spans over three decades. Residing in Massachusetts, Pie designs printable Book of Shadows and grimoire pages, blogs about the Craft, and teaches others how to pursue being a practitioner.

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